mastering purpose : define it

MP002: Tips to Overcome Perfectionism: It’s Possible, Right?

Dude, seriously, what’s an Oreo without milk?

You know it’s true.

If you’ve ever had an Oreo cookie without the milk, it’s still good. But, not that good. So much better with milk. Almost perfect.

Okay, onto some information for this podcast.

I don’t think that everyone struggles with this, but I do think there are some relatable characteristics you might be able to find in yourself that describes how you react or handle certain situations.

5 Signs You Might Be A Perfectionist

You Set Unrealistic Expectations or Goals

As a perfectionist, you have really high standards for yourself and expectations that don’t match up with the true outcome. Really get focused on the reality and not what you think will happen. Otherwise, you’ll be set up for failure with nothing but remorse on the other end.

You Get Overwhelmed Because You’re Afraid of Making a Mistake

We’re all afraid of making mistakes. Sometimes you have to accept that there will be mistakes and move on with your life. Just because a mistake happens, doesn’t mean the project that you’re working on is a failure.

In fact, sometimes making a mistake is healthy because it helps others know that you are a real person that messes up.

You Are So Focused on the Destination that Everything Along the Way is Missed

As an entrepreneur, I know the feeling of making it to the next goal to make sure I check it off of my list and to also get one step closer to enjoying the time with my family. The times that work is exciting can make us even more excited to get to the finish line.

Pay attention to what comes along the way — the memories, the fun, the “scenic route” so to speak.

You’re All In or Nothing with Common Goals

Celestine Chua “Celes” says it well in her article about perfectionism.

When we practice an all or nothing style of learning or work, we get immersed in what we’re doing. It can be easy to get wrapped-up and really feel like the things we are doing are for the right reasons — and they often are! But we have to check out every once in a while to get back to realityv

Here is an example:

Losing Weight. We start tracking calories and try to get it to the exact calorie each and every day. If we go over 2 calories, we beat ourselves up.

I can relate to most of you out there with this next part…

Once you fall off the bandwagon of healthy eating, your intake goes from 1800 calories daily to 3500. In other words, it’s all or nothing! I already messed up, so I should probably just go ahead and blow my diet.

The Vision of the Big Picture is Often Outweighed by Tiny Little Details that Don’t Matter

…these often result at the expense of other priorities

As a perfectionist, the vision of the big picture is often outweighed by tiny little details that don’t matter.

Remember one this! Being a perfectionist can be a good thing (as long as it’s not taken to the extreme).

MP QUICK THOUGHTS

What are some ways that you are struggling as a perfectionist?

And, if you don’t fall into this category, what are some tasks that you need to get done but spend too much time on the details?

Think about it.

[icon name=”microphone” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] PODCAST WRAP-UP – LINKS AND MORE

Things mentioned in this session:

Trello: https://trello.com
Gmail: https://gmail.com
Google Apps (Spreadsheets): https://sheets.google.com

Heil PR-40: Podcasting Kit on Amazon

ON THE BLOG NOW: 5 Ways to Automate Your Life: Part 1 — including some different apps and a physical device! Looking forward to this post.

[TRANSCRIPT]

00:30 Welcome welcome to the second episode here of the Mastering Purpose podcast. I’m really excited to be back on the mic, although I am on a different microphone because our good microphone decided that it was going to completely drop out and stop working. It’s a HEIL PR-40 which is a pretty top of the line microphone. It’s considered professional quality and my wife went to record on her podcast and it decided it wasn’t going to work anymore.

00:57 So I ordered a new soundboard thinking that was the problem and now I get my own soundboard, well, it’s the old one, in my recording studio.

01:05 The voice quality may not be there, I know I’ve only got one episode before here. But, the most important thing is that I wanted to get in here and record the next podcast so that I can move forward in life.

01:15 On today’s episode what we’re going to talk about is perfectionism. And this is something I really struggle with so I feel like there are other people that struggle with it too and I just wanted to talk about some pointers that I’ve found out and I know that everyone doesn’t follow, maybe some of the guidelines here and some of the things we’ll talk about here today, but I do know that a lot of people struggle with it and you may not even know that you struggle with perfectionism.

01:40 Same as most people consider to be OCD. When you maybe have to have 5 of a thing or 10 of a thing when you’re picking something out and maybe you take 10 drinks at the water fountain or you take 5 drinks at the water fountain or when you’re counting out M&Ms to eat you have to have 5 or you have to have 10.

01:56 I think that kind of goes on the line of being OCD or kind of being a perfectionist. And we’ll talk a little bit more about how a little bit later in this episode.

02:06 So I do think there are some relatable characteristics that you might be able to find in yourself that describes maybe how you react or maybe how you handle certain situations and hopefully we can just understand a little bit about why that happens.

02:23 But first off, I wanted to see if you could think of what are some signs that you might be a perfectionist. What are some things you know you go throughout your day and you’re really trying to see how you can stop doing something in a way that it’s not going to make you have to worry about every single detail.

02:43 So if it’s a really big project that you’re focusing on, are you really trying to not get the main priority of the project done because you’re worrying about the nitty gritty details? I know I struggle with that and it really affects a lot of the work that I do, a lot of things in life just because I worry about the smallest things because I feel like everything should be perfect.

03:03 And the truth is when there’s something that’s so overwhelming that you try to get it done but you worry about every single detail, you could really bypass those details and no one else will know, but if you struggle as a perfectionist, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

03:17 So here’s a few things that you might be able to relate to and think about what are the signs that you might be a perfectionist?

You set unrealistic expectations or goals and by that I mean that you go to set your expectation of what you think you can achieve, you go to set this goal, and you make them unrealistic because you really have these high standards, you really have these things that you want to get done in life and work and your relationships and you set them unrealistic and maybe that’s a sign you’re a perfectionist.

03:48 The second thing is before starting anything, you tend to get overwhelmed because you’re just afraid of making a mistake. I know my daughter really struggles with this and I know she gets it from me because when she’s doing work, when she’s trying to get something done and she doesn’t know what she’s doing or she messes up, the first time she just completely checks out. And, that’s it.

04:10 She will, it’s hard for her to continue forward so we really have to stop and talk to her about it. And I really have this problem too. And I know there are other people out here listening to it that struggle with that. It is very frustrating and overwhelming because you’re so afraid that you will make a mistake because you know you don’t have the experience or you’re trying to get to the next step but you want to make sure every single detail is completely perfect and right. And the truth is — it’s probably isn’t.

04:41 Maybe in your eyes it’s perfect, maybe in your eyes, it’s exactly right, but you know other people might think that it’s not. And they may have done it a different way, so you really have to think about that.

04:49 The third thing is — you’re very focused on the destination that you are not enjoying everything along the way. So let me say that one again… if you’re focused on the destination, you have to enjoy the things on the way there. So if you have something that needs to be done and you need to spend time with your kids (I’m using this as an example, sorry if you don’t have kids but this is the example I’ve decided to go with).

05:21 If you need to get something done and you’re thinking, Okay, I’ll get that done…you know…the sooner I get this done, the more time I’ll get with my kids. The sooner I get x done, I’ll be able to spend time with my kids.

05:31 Well, y can’t be done until x is done, so let me just finish x and y before I get to spend time with my kids. And I know this is some workaholics that might have this problem. You know, you feel like you continually have to work, but I heard a short story the other day that was talking about a story of a business man and he worked 60-70 hours a week and he did it for his family.

05:52 You know, us as dads and fathers (even if you’re not a father) but you’re in a relationship. You think that you’re going to work and doing it for the right reasons. And you are, um, but, there are some cases where you think that you’re going to work to provide for your family and that’s what you’ll do because as a father, you need to provide for the family. As a man you need to provide for your spouse. Or even if it’s just yourself you have to provide for yourself.

06:18 The thing is that you have to keep in mind that you have things along the way that you have to appreciate. Things that are not going to come to you before the destination.

06:26 And that’s if you don’t have your eyes open. So if you work 60-70 hours a week for the next 12 years and you decide that okay I’ve put my 12 years in 60-70 hours a week now, I can finally spend the time with my kids.

06:41 If your daughter or son is twelve years old, do you really think that you’re going to be able to spend the same quality time with them as a twelve year old that you would if they were 3 or 4 as a toddler? I don’t think so.

06:51 And that’s one thing you really have to think hard about because in the moment when you’re trying to you know, maybe you don’t think that you are ignoring the kids because you think you’re doing it for a better reason. Really stop and think about that.

07:05 Number 4 is: you’re all in or nothing or maybe you’re all-or-nothing (in other words) with common goals such as maybe losing weight or learning and I hope you can identify with this because what this means is that you want to get something done and you decide that okay I’m going to learn how to lets’ say…what’s a good example here? Let’s say you want to learn about a certain piece of software. Let’s say you want to learn how to develop websites and you as a perfectionist, you think I’m going to learn how to develop websites, I’m gonna take everything in.

07:46 I’m going to learn how to develop websites in this language, I’m going to learn how to develop websites in this language, I’m going to learn everything there is to know about creating a website. And you’re all in or nothing, there’s no fine line because you’re completely all-in. And you get so focused on what you’re doing that you try to be perfect along the way and you try to figure out everything there is.

08:07 And that’s not always a bad thing, but it does give your perfectionist mentality a little bit more of a um, you’re kind of feeding it. And you’ve really got to not feed it so much because then it will start taking over in other areas of your life. So that’s number 4.

08:27 Number 5 is: the vision of the big picture is often outweighed by tiny little details that don’t matter. And these, you know, these can kind of result at the expense of other priorities. So we’ve kind of talked about this in number two where before you start anything you get overwhelmed because you’re afraid of making a mistake because you’re focusing on the small details.

08:47 But you know what? Sometimes you have to take the approach of like the ready, aim, ready, fire, aim. And you shoot and then afterwards you have to figure out where you’re aiming because if you focus on all of the details that don’t matter, you’re not going to get past that next step.

09:04 Now, another part I wanted to bring up is that if you’re a perfectionist, it can be a good thing! And that’s as long as it’s not taken to the extreme. So if you’re working on the project and maybe you see a detail that is not really working out for you, maybe you’d fix it because you’re a perfectionist whereas someone else may overlook it.

09:26 Try not to take it to the extreme cause it’s really, it can really be a bad thing. And, you know, for those that don’t know me, I am a perfectionist, by heart. And I really wish I wasn’t sometimes. But, I don’t think that I’m classified as an “extreme” perfectionist. And I say quote extreme perfectionist, but I’m pretty close.

09:45 So, usually I feel like my intentions are good, but what happens is I lose myself with the small details and that’s one of my weaknesses so I hope that you can kind of notice that and then take that, you know, in another area of your life and hopefully help that.

10:02 But I try to make efficient use of my time and I really hope you do too. But it’s sometimes it backfires, so here’s an example: so, if you want to save time in the long run, you might spend, you know, two or three hours trying to setup something for the future. But, what happens is either a) you forget about the way it was setup because you spent so many excruciating minutes of setting up all of the details or b) there was far too much work instead of just doing something manually.

10:33 One of the things I really like to do is setup automations and I’m actually going to be writing a blog post on how to automate certain areas of your life and certain projects and things like that. So, when I get that post, I’ll have it on the blog, but one of the things you have to remember is that when you are automating, you can put so much work into preventing manual work, but if you put, you know, let’s say you have ten steps lined out and you want to automate step 1, step 2, step 3, step 4, and then manually do step 5. And then you have all the other steps, well, later on maybe a month from now you might see what that automation looks like.

11:12 So let’s say you want to automate when an email comes into your inbox, you can have it automatically pull it out of your email inbox and create a Trello card. And for those of you that don’t know what I’m talking about, Trello is a project management software and I’m really going to start talking more about that because I love Trello and I use it all the time.

11:28 But let’s say you are setting up the automation, you may forget that you set that up thirty days from now and you’re having emails create these Trello cards and you don’t, you forgot what you did to set it up. So, um, this is another reason about perfectionism that you really have to keep an eye on.

11:44 Now, I know there’s many ways to help you with your perfectionism and in today’s episode I want to talk about a few tools that will kind of help the mundane, monotonous tasks that drive a perfectionist nuts. Because seriously there are when you have to do something over and over and over again, there’s gotta be a way to automate it.

12:05 So, the way that, if you’re not a perfectionist, the way the perfectionist works is that they’ll go to the end of the earth to make a task to be completed in one go. So let’s say you know, I’ll use the email example. Let’s say you have a form that sends records into a spreadsheet. Sometimes you can have a form and it will just automatically email you and say if this form has been filled out, go check out the form details, but sometimes you might want to setup to where you have a form online that sends things into a spreadsheet and that way it automatically lays it out by row.

12:34 And you want to try and make that a little bit quicker, so when you setup that automation, you have to remember that being a perfectionist, you’re going to want to fix everything along the way. Where they go to the website to get to the form, where they go afterwards. If there’s an email that goes back out to them, and then back into that spreadsheet.

12:57 I know this might seem a little not structured in the way I’m saying this, but this is an example of one way that when you’re a perfectionist, you have to keep an eye on all the details and make sure that you’re not overwhelming yourself. Make sure that you’re not being too frustrated with yourself.

13:16 I want to know some of the ways that you’re struggling as a perfectionist. And, if you don’t fall into this category of thinking you know maybe you’re a perfectionist, what are some tasks that you need to get done but spend too much time on the details? And I really want you to think about that.

13:31 Um, you know, if you spend an hour crafting an email because you need the grammar to be perfect and you need the subject line to be perfect and you go through and you want to make sure that all the font and everything is setup. What are those things that are taking a little too much of your time? Maybe you can devote that to other things.

13:52 Just something to think about. Um, hopefully you got some value out of this podcast episode and in the next podcast episode I want to talk about why fitness is so important in your life and making sure that you’re trying to take those extra steps to maybe eat healthy, and have that fitness incorporated into your life because it does change the way that you do things, the way that you think, and all kinds of different properties of your life.

14:19 So, sorry this one was a little bit shorter, I’m still trying to line up some interviews and we’ll get those people over here to talk about purpose in their life and in this episode we talked about perfectionism. Hopefully you identified with some of those things. If you have any questions, head over to the blog. You’ll be able to see this podcast and some of the things we talked about at masteringpurpose.com/podcast2.

14:44 And if you have any questions, please leave a comment on the blog or just get a hold of me some other way. Maybe social media or something like that. So, glad you guys were here today! I really appreciate your time and I’ll talk with you guys in the next one.

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